When I think about all the events that have to come together with just the right timing in order for us to make connections with people who will, or could potentially become, our good friends, it is mind-boggling.

As I came home from my run this afternoon, my neighbor, the dad of the 7 year old who got locked out a couple weeks ago, called to me. Walking down the street with a soccer ball, “do you play?” he asked. Well, I can’t claim to be a soccer player, but I can kick the ball around a bit.

So the coincidences just for this to happen:

  • recurring IT band problems have kept me from running for quite a while. I used to only run at a park 10 minutes drive away.
  • 3 or 4 weeks ago a friend made me so mad that I took off and went for a very short run around my neighborhood. But a pain-free run, which made it a turning point for me.
  • I’ve slowly been working up my distance (I think I’m at a whopping 17 minutes now) running in my neighborhood, and today was the first day I ran the particular route that took me past the area A was kicking the ball around on his own.
  • I meant to run yesterday, but didn’t, so I ran today instead.

And not to mention the timing of me running by when he was there.

So we kicked the soccer ball around and talked about all kinds of things. Aikido, which he’s very fond of, and wants to get back into. I’ve, coincidentally, been thinking (for ages) about getting back into martial arts, but having to find a dojo is such an effort I haven’t bothered. Realizing I’m interested in it, though, he’s encouraging me to give it a try. Karate is what I learned before, but Aikido’s philosophy is definitely something that has interested me for quite a while. And this way I don’t even have to do the work of finding a dojo myself. (I have mentioned my laziness before, a time or two!)

We talked about non-violence, consistency in ethics, the environment, race relations, veganism…just this whole range of things that I think about all the time.

“I’m so glad I met you,” he said at one point. “You remind me of my friends from the Bay Area!”

So he and his family are going to take care of my cat while I’m in LA this weekend. I feel so lucky that I ended up buying this condo, meeting him and his family. How fortuitous! I have neighbors I can really talk to, who are interested in all these topics that are not always comfortable but which I can’t ignore, and who I can have over for food and wine and conversations.

I think I needed something like this. Isolation has been seductive and easy. I am busy, I do a lot of activism, and sometimes my entire social life is contained on the screen of my laptop. Since I now have a 15″ screen, my social life has improved no matter how I look at it, but I’m very happy to be making a connection with people I don’t even have to make plans to see. People I can just run into by chance, and on my way to taking out my trash, rant about the hypocrisy of borders .

jc at pps